Pupils go back 10,000 years

Four primary schools from across the Borough have been taken back 10,000 years to the time of Ireland’s first settlers through a series exciting outdoor workshops.

Four primary schools from across the Borough have been taken back 10,000 years to the time of Ireland’s first settlers through a series exciting outdoor workshops.

Volunteers from Mountsandel Discovery and Heritage Group (MDHG) were supported by Coleraine Rotary Club, Council’s Museums Service and Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust to deliver two Schools Day events at Coleraine’s historic Mountsandel site.

As the earliest known site of human settlement on the island of Ireland, Mountsandel is arguably the most important archaeological site on this island.

Mountsandel Discovery and Heritage Group aim to increase awareness of the site, and to work with partners to better connect communities and young people to their rich heritage.

Around 100 pupils from four schools (St Malachy’s and The Honourable Irish Society Primary Schools from Coleraine, St. Patrick’s and St. Brigid’s Primary School from Ballycastle and Dunseverick Primary School) were able to learn more about how Ireland’s first settlers lived when they arrived at Mountsandel 10,000 years ago.

Interactive workshops on hunting and gathering, foraging, stone tool making and archaeology were delivered by expert facilitators.

Liam Hickey, Chair of MDHG and Coleraine Rotary Club member, said: “Our volunteers are passionate about Mountsandel’s unique history and see the potential for this heritage to make a substantial contribution to the regeneration of Coleraine town and to the economy of the wider Borough. We have a real gem on our doorstep which is both overlooked and underutilised. The time has long come for us to start making the most of Mountsandel.”

Plans for the development of Mountsandel as a world class visitor attraction and education hub are currently being considered for funding under Council’s Growth Deal scheme. For more information, search Mountsandel Discovery and Heritage Group on Facebook.